Industrial Hemp a Bonanza for Farmers But Barriers Still Exist

Brushing aside jokes about intoxicated livestock, Alberta farmers are growing industrial hemp, a crop that has become more profitable than canola and other conventional products.

Hemp is one of the oldest cultivated crops in the world. Unlike marijuana, which has a THC content of five to 10 per cent, the THC level in hemp is 0.3 per cent. meaning it is impossible to get high from the product.

A growing number of farmers are becoming interested in the profitability of this legal crop. Compared to canola which sells for about 18 cents a pound, hemp currently fetches 80 cents a pound on the market.

All parts of the plant can be harvested and used in food, textiles and building materials.

Although there is a strong business case for hemp, Brian Rozmahel, a farmer near Viking, Alta., received a lot of ribbing in the local coffee shop when his neighbours learned about his plans.

“Oh my cows will all be high and there was a lot of good-natured poking at me but also they certainly paid attention because it’s a great break in a rotation for even a conventional farmer,” he said.

“It’s something you can seed later in the season and it pays. It pays very well.”

– Read the entire article at CBC News.